The Supreme Court has held that the holders of civil posts or in the civil services of the State cannot claim the benefits of the provisions of Chapter VI of the Factories Act 1948, dehors the service rules.

The bench of Justice V. Ramasubramanian and Justice Pankaj Mithal observed that appointment either to a civil post or in the civil services of the Union or the State, is one of a status and that it is not an employment governed strictly by a contract of service or solely by labour welfare legislations.

The Court was hearing an appeal challenging the Order holding that employees working as Supervisors in a Currency Note Press were entitled to Double Over Time Allowance.

The Court observed that whenever a dispute relating to a service matter, which includes a claim for allowances, is raised before the Administrative Tribunal, the Tribunal should see what is provided by the relevant Act issued under the main part of Article 309 or the Rules issued under the Proviso to Article 309.

The Court further added that a Court or Tribunal, adjudicating a dispute relating to conditions of service of an employee, should keep in mind the different parameters applicable to three different categories of employment-

(i) employment which is statutorily protected under labour welfare legislations, so as to prevent exploitation and unfair labour practices;

(ii) employment which falls outside the purview of the labour welfare legislations and hence, governed solely by the terms of the contract; and

(iii) employment of persons to civil posts or in the civil services of the Union or the State.

The Court noted that persons holding civil posts or in the civil services of the State enjoy certain privileges and hence Court said that the claim made by the respondents ought to have been tested by the Tribunal and the High Court, in the proper perspective to see whether it is an attempt to get the best of both the worlds.

Senior Advocate Dhruv Mehta appeared for the appellants and Advocate R.K. Adsure appeared for Respondents.

The Court held that the Tribunal and High Court did not consider the distinction between persons in Government service and those in private service and the effect of the statutory rules upon the conditions of service of the respondents, including their liability to work for extra hours.

Thus the Court allowed the appeals but directed not to effect any recovery from those to whom payments have already been made.

Cause Title- Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India Ltd. & Ors. Etc v. Vijay D. Kasbe & Ors. Etc.

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